Los Angeles-based startup DroneBase, which connects drone owners and pilots with clients, has secured a $12 million Series B funding round. The company, founded in 2014 by Daniel Burton and Eli Tamanaha, won its latest cash injection from Upfront Ventures and Union Square Ventures. Hearst Ventures, DJI and Pritzker Group also joined the round.
DroneBase also used its good news to drop a new product. AirCraft Pro is an augmented reality (AR) device, in which users can lay 3D models on a drone-footage landscape, aiding anything “from race courses, to floating cities, to giant works of art,” according to the company’s website.
DroneBase’s investment is the latest in a slew of drone-based funding rounds. Venture capitalists are keen to put their money into an industry worth an estimated $127.3bn, according to accountant PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Apps and associated services, such as DroneBase’s, are expected to comprise a far greater portion of investment than actual drone-makers. The company has now flown over 100,000 commercial drone sorties in 60 nations, and is making its solutions available on Google Play in addition to its existing iOS format.
“This round marks DJI’s third investment in DroneBase through SkyFund,” said DJI executive Jan Gasparic in a statement, “which demonstrates our confidence in their continued success in an industry that, while growing at a rapid pace, is just at the beginning of realizing its full potential.”